'We've moved on from Van Persie loss'

Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring the equaliser
Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring the equaliser

Arsene Wenger says his team have moved on and found a "new balance" since Robin van Persie left the Club last summer.

The Arsenal manager brought the Dutchman to English football in 2004 and oversaw his development into a world-class striker before Van Persie opted to join Manchester United.

Wenger signed Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud last summer and has seen his new-look team share the goals around. He admits it took time to get over Van Persie's departure but he believes Arsenal have now adapted.

"What you want to focus on is that when the big players go, which has happened to us many times, you just want to get around it and try to find a new organisation that is efficient," said Wenger.

"You always miss a big player. The only thing I can say [is] it took us a while to get around it but if you look at the number of goals we have scored, it's similar to last season.

"It took us a while to find a different way because the game went through him a lot. We had to find a new balance between defending and attacking but now we are stabilised."

Van Persie scored 132 goals in 278 appearances for Arsenal and was named Footballer of the Year in 2012 after putting his injury problems behind him to net 37 times in all competitions. But Wenger says he cannot afford to have regrets over losing his former captain.

"I think that Arsenal had a positive impact on the life and career of Robin van Persie"

"I don't go into the game thinking that," he said. "In our job, you look forward. So many great players have left this club that you could be full of regrets.

"When you make a decision, you know there are plusses and minuses. What is only important now is the future of the Club and the team. That's how you look at it.

"It's always difficult to lose big players. Let's be realistic - it's more difficult when they are 24 than when they are 29 and they have given a few years to the Club. That's part of the modern life of a modern footballer as well.

"We are in a job where you want to do two things: do you best you can for your club and influence in a positive way the life of people. On that side, I think that Arsenal had a positive impact on the life and career of Robin van Persie so we have done our job in a positive way."

Arsenal v Man Utd

Podolski to score first @ 8/1


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